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Four Star General Says Army Still 'Out Of Balance'


Kansas City, MO – Lake City is the US military's only source of rifle and 50 caliber machine gun bullets. They make close to a billion and a half of them each year here. About 20 million of those go straight to Afghanistan. President Obama is weighing plans to send as many at 40-thousand more troops there. And General Casey one of the highest ranking US military officers, expects what he says will be a well-reasoned decision on Afghanistan from the white House shortly. But, as he's said for years, Casey believes the Army is stretched nearly to the breaking point.

Casey: The army is out of Balance. We're so weighed down by our current commitments that we can't do the things we know we need to do to sustain the all volunteer force and to prepare ourselves to do other things.

Casey says the Army has grown by 40-thousand soldiers since early 2007. He says the force is "nipping away" at what some see as a critical shortage of mid-level officers, caused, Casey says principally by the army's transformation into a counterinsurgency force.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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